2007 CALL FOR ENTRIES: SPARC Announces Mind Mashup - A Video Contest to Showcase Student Views on Information Sharing

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Wikipedia Founder Jimmy Wales and Documentary Filmmaker Peter Wintonick Among Judges Selecting $1,000 Prize Winner

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 25, 2007

Contact:
Jennifer McLennan
(202) 296-2296 x 121
jennifer [at] arl [dot] org

Washington, DC – July 25, 2007 – SPARC (the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition) today announced the launch of the first annual SPARC Discovery Awards, a contest to promote the open exchange of information. Mind Mashup, the theme of the 2007 contest, calls on entrants to illustrate in a short video the importance of sharing ideas and information of all kinds. Mashup is an expression referring to a song, video, Web site or software application that combines content from more than one source.

Consistent with SPARC’s mission as an international alliance of academic and research libraries promoting the benefits of information sharing, the contest encourages new voices to join the public discussion of information policy in the Internet age. Designed for adoption as a college or high school class assignment, the SPARC Discovery Awards are open to anyone over the age of 15.

Contestants are asked to submit videos of two minutes or less that imaginatively show the benefits of bringing down barriers to the open exchange of information. Submissions will be judged by a panel that includes:

• Aaron Delwiche, Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication at Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas

• José-Marie Griffiths, Professor & Dean at the School of Information and Library Science, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

• Rick Johnson, communications consultant and founding director of SPARC

• Heather Joseph, Executive Director of SPARC

• Karen Rustad, president of Free Culture 5C and a senior at Scripps College majoring in media studies

• Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia

• Peter Wintonick, award-winning documentary filmmaker and principal of Necessary Illusions Productions Inc.

“I’m very proud to be judging this contest,” said Karen Rustad. “When it comes to debates over Internet information policy, students are usually subjects for study or an object for concern. I can’t wait to see what my contemporaries have to say about mashup culture and open access to information once they’re given the mike -- or, rather, the camera.”

The contest takes as its inspiration a quote from George Bernard Shaw: “If you have an apple and I have an apple and we exchange these apples then you and I will still each have one apple. But if you have an idea and I have an idea and we exchange these ideas, then each of us will have two ideas.”

Submissions must be received by December 2, 2007. Winners – including a first-place winner and two runners up – will be announced in January 2008. The winner will receive $1,000 and a “Sparky Award.” The runners up will each receive $500. Winning entries will be publicly screened at the American Library Association Midwinter Conference in January 2008 in Philadelphia and will be prominently featured in SPARC’s international advocacy and campus education activities.

For further details, please see the contest Web site at http://sparkyawards.org.

SPARC

SPARC (Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition), with SPARC Europe and SPARC Japan, is an international alliance of more than 800 academic and research libraries working to create a more open system of scholarly communication. SPARC is a founding member of the Alliance for Taxpayer Access, a coalition of patient, academic, research, and publishing organizations that supports open public access to the results of federally funded research – including research funded by the National Institutes of Health. SPARC is on the Web at http://www.arl.org/sparc/.